Apex methodology

Fastmarkets MB Apex is a unique system of combining the best research and analysis in metals prices to create the most accurate forecast available in the market. Apex contains leaderboards of analysts based upon the accuracy of their most recent price predictions for the metals traded on the London Metal Exchange, both by metal and overall. 

Fastmarkets MB Apex answers three questions: 
  1. Where will base metal prices be trading in the future? 
  2. Which bank, brokerage or research company’s published price expectations have been most accurate previously? 
  3. Was it possible to create a forecast based on the collective intelligence of the market, but weighed towards those with the most accurate forecasts previously?

Our price reporters take forecasts from established credible and independent analysts/desks and combines them in a weighted average to form a consensus forecast. The weightings are created from the past performance of the analysts, in both long-term and short-term forecasting, allowing those with the greatest skills and market understanding to have the greatest influence in the consensus forecast.

The Apex forecast is updated in real-time and new forecasts are integrated into the model as they are reported to Fastmarkets MB. This allows the forecast to remain the best available view of the collective intelligence of the market-place at any one point.

Go back to the latest Fastmarkets MB Apex stories and analysis.

Analyst rankings:

Each analyst/desk provides the latest forecasts for each metal at the turn of each quarter. At the end of the quarter a definitive ranking of accuracy in the forecasts will be calculated and published. The overall ranking is based on the average variance across all forecasts received.


The use of weightings on accuracy allows the best analysts to have the greatest say in the forecasts.


The analyst forecasts will be based on cash prices, to reflect the majority of forecasts in the market. All prices are in $/tonne. Forecasts provided to us in c/lb are converted to $/tonne. The metals included in the Apex are: Copper, Aluminium, Nickel, Lead, Zinc and Tin. The model is updated in real-time, with data integrated on reporting to Metal Bulletin. The analyst weightings are updated quarterly. The Apex is quoted in quarters across each year, although in some cases forecasts are provided on an annual basis for the years ahead. The Apex is open to all credible analysts/desks, although each institution is limited to one forecast, as being representative of the whole company. The accuracy rating reflects the % variance of the actual from the forecast. It is calculated as 100% minus the variance in % to the actual LME cash price. The overall ranking is a straight average of the variances of all forecasts received from each analyst across all metals as appropriate.